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The Travel Log || A Joyful Heart || Proverbs 15:13

Proverbs 15:13 "A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken." My name is Ruth Strait, and I am a faithful servant to our Lord Jesus Christ. It is my goal that when I go out, it is to speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who listen, to pause, converse and pray with and for people, no matter where I am, even while I’m on vacation. The question I have for you today is: How's your countenance? defines countenance as “appearance, especially the look or expression of the face.” Earlier this Summer, I took a vacation in Maine and New Hampshire. Going to new places is fun for me and of course, I enjoy meeting new people, talking with them, and praying for them also. It’s always interesting to meet new folks and to see their expressions when a stranger gives them a “Hey, how ya doing?” or pay them a compliment. Their facial expression, or in one case I encountered, the lack thereof, says a whole bunch. Two encounters I want to share with you are stories of Susan, a waitress at a restaurant and James, a hotel owner. The first story is at a restaurant that a couple of great friends of mine and I went to. The atmosphere at this restaurant was bright, full of laughter, lots of families and great scenery as we were sitting by the water. It was a fun place to be. My friends and I finished up our meal, and waited for our waitress, Jackie, to ring up the bill. After sitting for a little while, she didn’t return to our table to take the check. So, I went looking for her. I went to the waitress’ station and there was Susan, another waitress, finishing up on her usual assignments that day. I said hello to her with a big smile. She turned to me with no expression on her face, no smile, no ”hello” back, only her big blue eyes seemingly looking right through me with a blank stare. There was no emotion showing, not even an inkling of a change in her face or demeanor. I explained to her that I needed to pay my bill and didn’t know where our server was. She took my ticket and credit card, rang me up and handed it back to me with no change in her facial expression and with no words spoken by her at all. All the same, I replied, "God bless you, ma’am, have a wonderful day!” Again, nothing. There was no response in return but that same unchanging blank stare. I thought to myself and asked God, “How can someone have such a countenance? Does she know You, Jesus? Was she tired, was there any joy in her heart? Perhaps she was having a bad day.” I had so many questions in my heart. I prayed a prayer silently for her while catching up with my friends. God recalls that moment in my heart every so often and I continue my prayers for her. Now for the second story, James, the hotel owner. When I first encountered James, he was smiling, even though he was busy with his guests, trying to direct them to their room and answering all their questions, his countenance did not change. James seemed to be a joyful guy, who as he greeted the other guests, he happily answered questions and directed all accordingly. This day he was full of smiles which didn’t leave his face. The next day, I went to check out. There was James again with his big smile and joyful self, waiting on us. I felt that the Holy Spirit directed me to ask if I could pray for him. So, I asked him with an even a bigger smile, and he gave an enthusiastic “YES!” I prayed with thanksgiving to God for James and his family, for their well-being, safety, and comfort. Then James piped in asking for me to pray for his health and healing. I prayed for his request. What an amazing few minutes spent with James. He was a Believer in Jesus and again joyfully expressed it. I left with a huge smile and full of joy, Jesus joy! What a difference between these two people, Susan and James. Their countenance, their demeanors were complete opposites. Was Susan a sad person with a broken spirit? Her countenance spoke volumes and I’ll probably won’t ever find out why. I do pray for her often with joy and thanksgiving to God. On the other hand, James made it very clear that he believes in Jesus and that he is joyful because of his belief in Him. It showed in his countenance, that bubbly smile, his non-stop chatter when he was waiting on his guests. His Jesus joy was overflowing, and it showed greatly! How’s your countenance today? Do you know Jesus? If you do, do the people you meet see Jesus in you? Does your countenance reflect it? Do you want to learn how Jesus can change your life? If you need prayer you can contact us for confidential prayer at To learn more about Equip Church | Academy | Care or for more info please visit us at

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